Disabled People’s Choice Award – 2019

A group of people stand and smile at the camera at an awards gala

Winner – EmployAbility

What we were looking for

Organisations nominated by disabled people for having a real impact on the lives of people with disabilities. They could be an employer, a shop, a website or any organisation they’ve had experience with.

What did they do?

Nominated by Harry Ashcroft, EmployAbility is a not-for-profit that helps disabled students and graduates transition from education into employment. They provide free training sessions, one-to-one support, and tailored guidance. Students and graduates receive advice on both finding employment and asking for workplace adjustments.

EmployAbility work closely with employers to create events for disabled students and graduates. They can also arrange internships and work experience to give young applicants with disabilities first-hand knowledge and understanding of workplaces.

Why did they win?

EmployAbility is a unique project addressing real problems experienced by  disabled students and graduates. They’ve forged strong links with high level employers and government organisations, meaning that they can really help young people with disabilities boost their CVs and applications.

We were impressed by the scale of EmployAbility’s direct impact. They were nominated by Harry Ashcroft, an LSE graduate who completed a 10-week internship at JP Morgan with EmployAbility’s support. He said:

“I’ve gained self-confidence – EmployAbility demonstrated to me that my disability would not preclude me from a successful career in finance. EmployAbility has gone the extra mile by showing remarkable entrepreneurship to provide services and information where there was none.”


Epilepsy West London – nominated by Christina Marshall for the huge impact their support has had on her confidence levels.

Microsoft – nominated by Michael Vermeersch for their support through his diagnosis of autism, assembling a team of specialists to make sure he had all the adjustments he needed and could excel in his role as a consultant.

Qatar Foundation – nominated by Amy Johnson for their Ability Friendly Sports Programme, which provides swimming and football classes in Qatar for people of all abilities at affordable prices.

Walthamstow Stadium Area Residents’/Community Association – chair Gail Penfold was nominated by Fariha Mughal for her consistent dedication to including people of all abilities in the community and going the extra mile. For example, she arranged transport for Fariha’s disabled parents to visit her when she first moved to the area, as they were unable to use public transport.

Inspired to nominate a person or organisation for the 2020 Disability-Smart Awards? Contact our Events team at events@businessdisabilityforum.org.uk for more information.